There may come a time when your parents are no longer able to live alone. Many people believe that age is the key factor to use when deciding whether or not they should get help for their parents. While this is not entirely false, there are more signs that could signify a decline in your parents in addition to age. The potential challenges your parents could face as they age include, but are not limited to, disability, incapacity, mobility, and frailty.

If your parent is not living with you, however, how will you know if he or she needs help? This is a question that many of our clients ask of us. Most of us do not live near our parents and share this concern. There are signs that we observe as elder law attorneys that indicate when there could be issues for a senior that we want to share with you.

1. Decline in mobility. If your parent is no longer physically able to carry himself or herself around the house, or needs assistance when doing so, this is a sign that he or she may not be able to live safely at home. When mobility is an issue, your parent is much more vulnerable to tripping or falling from which an injury can lead to a detrimental injury.

2. Decline in hygiene. If your parent is no longer clean or caring for him or herself this can signify an underlying problem. Your parent may need help with getting into the bath stall or effectively cleaning him or herself. Without help your parent could end up with a bad infection from poor hygiene.

3. Decline in memory. If your parent is developing symptoms of forgetfulness or irritation he or she may be at risk. These symptoms can be precursors to more critical illnesses such as Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia.

4. Decline in task management. If your parent begins to show inability to do daily tasks, such as cooking, cleaning, or the paying bills, he or she may need additional help. There are certain responsibilities that cannot go unnoticed and a caregiver could provide this extra help that your parent’s need.

These are just a few of the signs that you should be on the lookout for when it comes to your aging parent. Planning ahead to determine if he or she could be aided by an in-home companion is the first step to ensuring your parent is protected. If you have questions on this or any other issue as your parent ages, do not hesitate to let us know.